Every Oil & Gas workplace abounds with the high prevalence of flammable vapors as well as several sources of ignition making them far more prone to the risk of fire and explosion. It is no surprise that the fatality rate for O&G workers is seven times higher than other industries according to the CDC.
Oil and Gas well drilling, storage, transportation and servicing tasks involve a lot of different types of equipment and materials. Most of the chemicals and products also contain various volatile and organic compounds, well-known to pose serious safety and health threats to humans. Workers in the oil and gas industries face the risk of fire and explosion due to the ignition of combustible liquids or gases. Flammable liquids and gases, such as well gases, vapors, and hydrogen sulfide, can be released from wells, trucks, production equipment or surface equipment such as tanks and shale shakers. Ignition sources can include static, electrical energy sources, open flames, lightning, cigarettes, cutting and welding tools, hot surfaces, and frictional heat.
Recognizing and controlling hazards is critical in preventing death and injuries. Workers should also be made aware of the health hazards associated with any product exposure in upstream, midstream and downstream activities. Creating a positive safety culture in the entire organization is one of the key elements in successful accident prevention. This includes consistently keeping abreast of technological solutions available to reduce & manage the risks in the operations of the O&G industry.
A hazard like a fuel explosion has multi-level impact that can damage assets, employees, company reputation and disrupt functioning. All of which amounts to huge financial losses. And yet the conventional safety practices are limited to mitigation and warning measures that offer very little respite. There is a real need for preventative measures that protect the O&G workers from explosions and manage the associated risks.
Risk Management for worker safety
The aim of risk management is to identify, assess and plan better safety measures for the future. And define appropriate control and retrieval steps.
- Identifying the potential hazards that can cause major accidents
- Evaluating and prioritizing: The risks of major accidents should be evaluated
- Implementing protective measures to control the risk
- Having systems that comply with the health and safety law
- Conducting a regular audit of the risk management system
The article titled ‘Avoid Fatalities and Injuries in the Oil and Gas Industry‘ by Karen D. Hamel published in the OH&S recommends the following measures to protect workers – “Monitoring weather conditions, including temperature, lightning, wind and humidity is one line of defense. Monitoring oxygen levels and flammable lower explosive limits throughout the site, and installing shutdown systems, intake flame arrestors and exhaust spark arrests on equipment and machinery at the site can also provide a warning that conditions are approaching unsafe levels and protection from common ignition courses. These engineering and administrative controls coupled with appropriate PPE for everyone onsite work in tandem to help prevent fires and explosions.”
Such conventional risk management mainly focuses on mitigating the effects of hazards and explosions. But with the amount of data available and contemporary technological advances made, higher safety standards are possible that prevent fuel explosions from happening at all.
How can you protect O&G employees and workplaces from explosion risks?
Breakthrough technological innovation solutions are available to secure businesses from fuel tank explosions in midstream and downstream operations.
This internationally certified and tested system from ATOM offers explosion prevention by passive suppression of explosion within fuel storage and transportation units. With tested explosion-safe fuel storage, the O&G workers are protected from physical danger and injury plus their jobs are intact due to the explosion protection available to the business.
The ATOM team have 200+ years of cumulative experience in the O&G industry. The first-hand awareness of the industry requirements has enabled the design of industry-specific storage solutions that are compliant with NFPA 69.
Prevent the first spark of fire from escalating to an explosion with ATOM
If you are seeking preventive solutions tailored to meet the industry’s complexities that secure your workplace and resources from fuel tank explosions, we can introduce you to high-quality solutions that are compliant with international regulation standards and will upgrade your fuel safety to the highest levels. To secure your fuel storage from explosion, get in touch with us today!
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